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Leadership in Law 2013: Katherine A. Brown-Henry

Associate, Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C., Indianapolis Valparaiso University Law School

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katherine-brown-henry01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Katherine A. Brown-Henry is known around her office as a bit of a probate guru. In fact, she’s overhauled the system by which Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C. handles wrongful death estates and guardianships. She’s also taught two continuing legal education programs on probating wrongful death estates. Kate has served as a judge for the We the People and Indiana Mock Trial programs. She also manages her firm’s law clerk program and initiated a book club where she and the clerks read and discuss legal books the firm has found instructive.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
High school college counselor.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
Good thing. Face time should be more than an app on my iPad.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
Property, too many archaic words. 

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The We the People program.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and give help where you can.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would want Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.

In life or law, what bugs you?
I think it’s important to be respectful of a person’s time, so being late without calling is my biggest pet peeve.

Working on medical cases, you’ve probably seen a lot. Is there something that still makes you squeamish?
Autopsy and intraoperative photos.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
“Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“Kate’s Tenderloin Sandwich” - grilled pork tenderloin, Indiana tomatoes, lettuce, a little mayo and a whole-wheat roll.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
Not really, but a show without a twist in the fact pattern or an “Ah Ha!” moment wouldn’t be very interesting.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
Being a “Downton Abbey” fan, I wouldn’t mind being Lady Grantham.

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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